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Title:A dynamic two-level theory of state implosion: The cases of Lebanon, Algeria, and Yugoslavia
Author(s):Arfi, Badredine
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kolodziej, Edward A.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, General
Political Science, International Law and Relations
Abstract:Why do state implosions occur? This question urges itself on theorists and practitioners in international relations and security in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Despite the importance of the question, contemporary security and international relations theory has devoted little attention to state implosion. Realism, neorealism, neoliberal institutionalism, and constructivism posit the existence and stability of states, but do not offer a theory of state formation, preservation or implosion. They assume what has to be demonstrated.
The dissertation has two goals. First, a generalized theory of two-level state dynamics is presented. The three basic structures of the modern state (binding-idea, institutions, and physical base) are continuously immersed within three global structures (the nation-state system, global economy, and identity-compact system) which affects the state level of socio-political cohesion. A state level of socio-political cohesion is thus a function of the degree of congruence between the web of domestic historical memories and identity consciousnesses and the three basic state structures under conditions of adaptability to the imperatives of the three global structures. Second, a theory of state implosion is elaborated. State implosion evolves through a five-stage process under conditions of domestic identity politics and adaptability to the imperatives of the global environment. The dissertation identifies two important, though neglected, variables--historical memory and identity consciousness--to explain state implosion. More specifically, rival historical memories and incompatible identities held by divergent groups ignite two processes: a fragmentation of state legitimacy and a disintegration of state authority under conditions of adaptability imperatives to the global environment. The dissertation combines the case study approach and the comparative historical analysis to test the five-stage theory in three empirical cases--Lebanon in 1975, Algeria in 1992, and Yugoslavia in 1991-92. In all three cases, rival group historical memories and antagonistic group identity consciousnesses were unyielding social-structural conditions which strongly molded the evolution of the state towards implosion.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Arfi, Badredine
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9702449
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9702449

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